Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Goodbye, 2007. You've been a hell of a year.

You've seen me take a big step and move in with my girlfriend. You've seen a new member added to my family, along with a beautiful, extravagant wedding in a tropical paradise. You've seen my first Fringe Festival, my first time singing in public for a loooong time, my first Christmas with the whole family that now includes Deb and Maria. You've seen me become a cat person again, and finally develop somewhat of a green thumb. You've seen me advance at work, fight for professional recognition, deal with difficult personalities and become a better stage manager. You've seen me develop some of my closest friendships and begin to understand how some old friendships change with time. You've seen me learning to forgive, and you've seen me learning how to cut hurtful people out of my life. You've seen the birth of a new second cousin. You've seen the death of a colleague. You've seen my baby brother graduate from high school and start college. You've seen me become a more confident, secure woman.

Ahead in 2008, the horizon seems limitless.... the only definite thing is my birthday. I'll be 29.

My last year in my 20's. I'm looking forward to it.

Sail Away With Me...

It's official.... we closed Greater Tuna tonight.

There are those rare occasions when the jaded theater professional lets their guard down and lets a show into their heart... and this was one such occasion.

John and Ben, I will miss you so much. Watching you every night has been such a joy. I love the way this show has grown and changed and adapted during it's run-- it's truly been such an honor to see such professionals stretching themselves and communicating with each audience to really making these zany characters their own.

Angela and Jess, my darling workhorses.... you two have kicked ass so consistently backstage. I'm so happy you've gotten to be such friends-- I hope this continues. Thank you for all of your hard work.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed... I hear rumors of A Tuna Christmas for next year. I would be truly honored to work with such an amazingly talented, truly professional, unbelievably fun group again.

So for now I'll say goodbye to Arles, Thurston, Didi, Harold Dean, Bertha, Hank, Jody, Stanley, Charlene, Chad Hartford, Petey Fisk, Yippy, Elmer Watkins, Leonard, R.R., Phineas Blye, Pearl Burras, Sheriff Givens, Vera and The Reverend Spikes.... you'll always live in my heart.

You will, you will.

And until then, remember our motto here in Tuna:

If you can find someplace you like better than Tuna.......


Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Friend Caitlin

This is me and my friend Caitlin this summer at our 10 year High School Reunion:

I've known Caitlin since we were... born. Mostly I remember her and her sister Christine (nice wedgie picking technique, Christine) looking like this:
But my friend Caitlin can KICK YOUR ASS. She's a professional boxer. The pictures below were taken at her fight in Prairie Meadow Casino in Altoona, Iowa.

Nice cornrows, Caitlin! She is not FUCKING AROUND. Look at her punch that girl! Right in the face!!!!!

This is her "I will destroy your town and eat your children" face.

I'm so proud of my friend Caitlin for being an awesome friend, a beautiful woman and someone who could totally take you.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A death in the family

We so often refer to the people in the theater that we work with as "family" and never more does this become so true as when tragedy strikes.

Jorge Maldonado, pictured on the far right above, died last night of what was apparently an aneurism. I knew him from Man of LaMancha. He was a beautiful, kind man with a sweet soul. He was also a hell of a performer. He is survived by his long-time partner, Steve.

All of my thoughts and prayers are with you, Steve.

Jorge's stay on this earth was much too short. You will be missed, Jorge.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's Funny 'Cause It's True....

(Click on image to enlarge)

Now this just cracks me up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Better than an MLT (that's a Mutton, Lettuce and Tomato...)

Two more wedding pictures that I loved so much I couldn't help but to post:

They both have such great smiles...

Words cannot describe how much I love this picture.

I get to see them soon, when we all gather in Homer, NY for Christmas. I really can't wait!

My thanks to my uncle, Chris May, for these photos.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Is This Okay?

Tucked away in my little booth, I see a lot more than just the show onstage. Especially in our current set-up, where I am pretty much facing the entire audience.

Greater Tuna is a spoof-- it's a play set in rural Texas, and every sort of stereotype therein is fully explored and exploited for laughs. On top of your casual, thoughtless racists (the housewife who is trying to get Roots banned from schools because it "only shows one side of the slavery issue" and who is a member of Citizens for Fewer Blacks in Literature) there is a Klan member spoofed. And I must stressed spoofed. The racism of these characters is used as a punchline at the character's expense, showcasing the ignorance and sometimes downright stupidity of these small town folks. They say outrageously racist things and you are meant to laugh at the ridiculousness of these views.

Now we don't have a lot of African American subscribers up here in the Studio, but we do have some. I would say that four shows a week we at least have one African American in our audience.

When there are no black people in the audience, everyone laughs at the racist remarks the characters make. How stupid are these people, to say things like that! But a funny thing happens when a white person sitting next to an African American hears one of these remarks. Before they laugh, they always glance over at the black person. If the black person laughs, they laugh too. If they don't, the white person returns their gaze to the stage, somewhat uncomfortably.

This never fails. It doesn't matter if the white person is there with the black person, or if they're strangers who just happened to sit next to each other. Each time, there is a check-in. Is it okay to laugh at this? Is this funny? Am I allowed to be amused by their racism?

White people, relax. If you think it's funny, laugh. If it offends you, don't laugh. That's just what your African American neighbor is doing, why do you need their approval?

I don't know why, but the check-in really annoys me. But then again, I'm just a girl in a tiny darkened booth, wearing a red leather cowboy hat and staring at strangers watching a play. What do I know?

The awesome artwork of Charles Browning, including the painting at the top of this blog, can be found here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Usual?

I would just like to point out that I have sucessfully been to Coco's 4 nights in a row this week.

I walk in the door and they instantly pour a Hoegaarden for me and a Stella Artois for Deb.

Nothing like being a regular... but still, it really speaks to the kind of week I've had.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Actors say the darndest things!!!

Ben, today, after half hour:

"I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that Santa Claus is in the audience.

The bad news is that I spilled coffee backstage and I can't find where I spilled."

And now he's in his dressing room playing with the whoppee cushion his Secret Santa gave him.

This is why they call it family....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Seriously, folks...

If you have to set your cell phone to some obnoxious ring (and why do you have to? REALLY) please, please, please remember to turn it off before you attend an event.

Especially if said event has announcements before reminding you to do so. What, you think no one will call you? THEY WILL. And then we all have to be dragged out of the play/movie by some annoying song that made you feel clever when you set it ("I'm going to give Steve that 50 cent song! How witty is that??"), watch you realize that it's your bag/pocket making that noise, have to hear it amplified as you bring it out, and then have to listen to some sort of tone as you finally shut off the phone which you should have done before the show like we asked you to!

And inevitably you won't really turn off the phone at first, you'll just "ignore" the call. So the person will call you back. Lather, rinse, repeat. Not to mention how incredibly bright the cell phone screen is. Makes you easy to pick out of a crowd, I'll give you that.

People complain about youngsters and cell phones, and while I admit that not being able to enjoy a concert without the light of 10,000 pre-teen ADD texters is annoying, in my opinion old people are far worse. Trust me, from my little perch in the booth, I see a lot of old people pretending not to hear their cell phones as they go off during a show. And then arguing with their spouses about turning the damn thing off. And then trying to remember how to turn it off. Or worse, they answer it. Always before they've left the theater completely, though. Yes, we can still hear you say "Hello? I'm at the theater. Hold on..." in what you think is a theatrical stage whisper.

Turn the damn things off and leave them off for a couple of hours. Your hectic life will return to you in full soon enough, but can't you let that all go for just a little while? The rest of us would surely appreciate it.

Not to mention that the actors onstage and those of us behind the scenes are working really hard to create an illusion. But of course, you're very important. Your fellow audience members obviously don't know WHO you ARE.

Mostly, though, it's just really fucking annoying.